A-H

 
Adenoma
The most common type of polyp or growth, typically benign and of glandular structure1.

 
Adjuvant Treatment
Treatment received after the main form of treatment to lower the risk of the cancer coming back.

 
Angiogenesis
The growth of new capillary blood vessels from existing blood vessels.

 
Angiogenesis Inhibitors
Drugs designed to target and interfere with the tumor blood supply, ultimately starving cancer cells.

 
Antiangiogenic Treatment
Treatment that controls disease by stopping new abnormal blood vessels from forming.

 
Anti-EGFR
Treatment that targets epidermal growth factor receptor signaling.

 
Anti-VEGF Therapy
Treatment designed to reduce function of VEGF, which causes new blood vessels to form.

 
Apoptosis
Condition when cancer cells are unable to grow and ultimately self-destruct.

 
Barium Enema
Common test used to diagnose colorectal cancer using x-rays and dye to visualize the colon on a film.

 
Benign
Non-cancerous tissue that lacks the ability to spread to other parts of the body.

 
Bevacizumab (Avastin®)
A fully humanized monoclonal antibody against vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). It is an antiangiogenic agent that is injected slowly as a liquid intravenously (into a vein).2

 
Biomarker
A characteristic of a certain cancer type that can help make decisions about which treatments should be used.3

 
Bowel
Intestines, gut4

 
CapeOX
A combination of Oxaliplatin and Capecitabine, which is taken orally for 14 days and repeated every 3 weeks.

 
Capecitabine (Xeloda®)
An antimetabolite chemotherapy agent that is taken orally, in pill form.5

 
Cetuximab (Exbitux®)
A monoclonal antibody that targets endothelial growth factor receptor (EGFR). It is a liquid that is injected slowly intravenously (into a vein).6

 
Chemotherapy
The use of chemical agents (i.e. drugs) to treat or control cancer by attacking cancer cells5

 
Clinical trial
Medical study with human volunteers to test, assess and compare the safety and efficacy of treatments

 
Colectomy
Surgery performed to remove part of the colon.

 
Colon
The first four to five feet of the large intestine.

 
Colonoscope
Thin, long tube with a light and camera that is used to examine the inner wall of the colon and rectum.

 
Colonoscopy
A procedure in which a gastroenterologist examines the inner lining of the colon and rectum for colorectal cancer by inserting a colonoscope through the rectum.8

 
Colostomy
A procedure post-surgery in which the colon is rerouted to an opening in the abdomen called a stoma.9

 
Combination Therapy
The use of two or more drugs/therapies to treat a condition more aggressively.

 
Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF)
A small protein that stimulates cell growth, proliferation and differentiation by binding to its receptor on the cell surface.10

 
Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR)
A cell surface receptor of endothelial growth factor (EGF) that is often over-expressed on cancer cells and contributes to tumor development and growth.

 
Epithelial cells
Cells that line the cavities or surfaces of organs11

 
Floxuridine
A liquid antimetabolite chemotherapy agent that is injected intra-arterially (into an artery).13

 
Fluorouracil (5-FU)
A liquid antimetabolite chemotherapy agent that is injected intravenously (into a vein).12

 
FOLFIRI
A combination of Irinotecan, Leucovorin and 5-FU. It is injected intravenously and is repeated every 2 weeks.

 
FOLFOX
A combination of Oxaliplatin, Leucovorin and 5-FU. It is injected intravenously continuous infusion and is repeated every 2 weeks.

 

References
1  http://www.merriam-webster.com/medlineplus/adenoma
 
2  http://www.cancercare.org/publications/91-metastatic_colorectal_cancer_and_kras_gene_testing
 
3  http://www.merriam-webster.com/medlineplus/bowel
 
4  ImClone LLC. “Metastatic Colorectal Cancer: FDA-Approved Indication.” Erbitux. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, 2012. Web. 18 Jan. 2013.
 
5  “Learning about Chemotherapy Treatment: What is chemotherapy and how does it work?” American Cancer Society. American Cancer Society, 17 March 2011. Web. 11 Jan. 2013. treatmentsandsideeffects/treatmenttypes/chemotherapy/understandingchemotherapyaguideforpatientsandfamilies/understanding-chemotherapy-learning-what-is-it-how-it-works>.
 
6  “National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet: Colorectal Cancer Screening (PDQ®).” National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. National Cancer Institute, 19 July 2012. Web. 11 Jan. 2013. .
 
7  Ibid.
 
8  http://www.merriam-webster.com/medlineplus/Epidermal%20Growth%20Factor
 
9  (http://www.cancer.gov/common/popUps/popDefinition.aspx?term=adenoma).

I-P

 
Irinotecan Hydrochloride
Irinotecan (Camptosar®) is a liquid topoisomerase I inhibitor chemotherapy agent that is injected intravenously (into a vein).14

 
KRAS
(Pronounced kay-rass) A biomarker gene that is often mutated in CRC. Its mutation status determines the kind of treatment a patient would respond to best.15

 
Leucovorin Calcium
Leucovorin is a folic acid analog that works by increasing the effects of 5-fluorouracil. Leucovorin comes as a liquid and is injected intravenously or into a muscle.16

 
Levoleucovorin
A folic acid analog that works by increasing the effects of 5-fluorouracil. Leucovorin comes as a liquid and is injected intravenously.17

 
Line of Therapy
A sequence of treatment that ensues when one line of therapy is ineffective.

 
Lymph Nodes
Small structures connected by lymph vessels in which immune cells can filter harmful substances and help fight infections.18

 
Lymph Vessels
Thin tubes, similar to blood vessels, that transport fluid containing various cell types and debris throughout the body.19

 
Malignant
The ability of cancer cells to invade surrounding tissue and spread to other parts of the body.

 
Metastasis
The spread of cancer to other parts of the body.20

 
mFOLFOX
A modified combination of Oxaliplatin, Leucovorin and 5-FU. It is injected intravenously continuous infusion and is repeated every 2 weeks.

 
Microenvironment
The tissue around the cancer/tumor.

 
Neoadjuvant therapy
Treatment that is given initially to facilitate the main therapy. This may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or hormone therapy given before surgery to shrink a tumor so that it is easier to remove.21

 
Oxaliplatin (Eloxatin®)
A liquid platinum-containing chemotherapy that is injected intravenously.22

 
Panitumumab (Vectibix®)
A monoclonal antibody that targets endothelial growth factor receptor (EGFR). It is injected slowly as a liquid (into a vein).23

 
Polyp
A tissue growth in the inner lining of the colon or rectum that is benign (non-cancerous) but can become cancerous.

 
Primary tumor
Original tumor; tumor from which cancer originates.

 

References
10  http://www.cancercare.org/publications/91-metastatic_colorectal_cancer_and_kras_gene_testing
 
11  (Ibid)
 
12  http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancerbasics/lymph-nodes-and-cancer
 
13  (http://www.cancer.org/cancer/colonandrectumcancer/detailedguide/colorectal-cancer-what-is-colorectal-cancer).
 
14  http://www.cancer.net/publications-and-resources/support-and-resource-links/general-cancer-organizations-and-resources/medical-dictionary-resources/treatment
 
15  Amgen Inc. “Indication.” Vectibix. Amgen Inc., 2012. Web. 18 Jan. 2013. .

Q-Z

Radiation Therapy
Therapy that kills cancer cells with high-energy rays

 
Rectum
The last seven inches of the large intestine

 
Recurrence
When cancer returns after a period of time when no cancer could be detected.

 
Regorafenib (Stivarga®)
An oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor of angiogenic (VEGFR-1/3, TIE-2), stromal (PDGFR-ß, FGFR1), and oncogenic kinases (KIT, RET, BRAF). It is given as a pill.24

 
Relapse
When cancer returns after initially responding to therapy.

 
Risk Factor
Any factor that affects your chance of getting a disease16

 
Serrated Polyp
A type of polyp that has a saw-like shape and is typically benign

 
Staging
The process doctors use to identify the extent and location of the cancer, including whether it has spread to other areas in the body

 
Stoma
An opening that is created in the abdomen for the excretion of stool in cases where reconnecting the healthy sections of the colon and rectum is not possible

 
Systemic Therapy
Treatment that travels throughout the entire body.

 
Target Therapy
Therapy that is designed to attack specific cell pathways used by cancer to grow and survive

 
TNM Classification
The most common system used to identify the stage of CRC17 using information about the size and extent of the cancer

 
Tumor
An abnormal tissue growth that may be either benign or malignant and arises from uncontrolled proliferation of cells18

 
Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor
Therapy that targets a wide range of cell signals important to colorectal cancer, angiogenesis and supporting cells in the tumor environment.19

 
Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF)
Protein that causes new, abnormal blood vessels to form through the process of angiogenesis

 
Virtual Colonoscopy
Test that uses multiple CT images to create a picture of the inner walls of the colon

 
Ziv-Aflibercept (ZALTRAP®)
A fusion protein made from the VEGF-binding domains from VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2 linked to the Fc portion of IgG, which binds VEGF-A, VEGF-B and PlGF and prevents their interaction with VEGFR-1 and -2. It is an antiangiogenic agent that is injected slowly as a liquid intravenously (into a vein).29

 
References
16  http://www.cancer.org/cancer/colonandrectumcancer/detailedguide/colorectal-cancer-risk-factors
 
17  “National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet: Cancer Staging.” National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. National Cancer Institute, 22 Sept. 2010. Web. 11 Jan. 2013. .
 
18  http://www.merriam-webster.com/medlineplus/tumor
 
19  National Cancer Institute. “New Treatment for Advanced Colorectal Cancer Approved.” NCI Cancer Bulletin. 9.19 (2012) National Cancer Institute. Web. 18 Jan. 2013. .